Team Fortress 2 to add new robot team?
ARG points to “Man vs Machine” mode
After a busy weekend of working out one of Valve’s notoriously abstracted alternate reality games, Team Fortress 2 super-sleuths have turned up some solid evidence of a new, all-robot team being added to the game. Hold onto your tinfoil hats, people, we’re going in.
News comes via the official site’s webcomic-based revelation of one Gray Mann, brother to Mann Co.’s Redmond Mann and Blutarch Mann – the owners of current Team Fortress 2 teams RED and BLU – and also apparently a Falling Skies fan. That or he just likes wearing cybernetic prosthetics. The comic shows some sort of new collaboration between the brothers, and hints at – you guessed it – robot construction.
Meanwhile, over on NeoGAF, one forum user points to the Team Fortress 2 site’s logo, where it appears that the Engineer is getting some rather leery looks from the Scout, Heavy, and Spy. All this stuff then links back to the Engineer update launched two years ago already, which seemed to subtly suggest if you look very, very closely that the Engineer is building robots, and was backed up over the next months with additional clues and rumours of a “Man vs Machine” mode. This mind-boggling video explains everything.
Back in February, the Team Fortress blog promised something totally new in 2012 that wasn’t a hat or a map, but possibly an “ungodly hat-map hybrid”. Or a robot team?
Aaaand back over on the official site, an update accompanying the webcomic congratulates the internet on its latest extraordinary feats of detective…ness, saying:
Last night we launched our most fiendishly difficult ARG yet, involving roughly 5000 individual pieces of data that had to be painstakingly collected and decoded by equipping specific items and then performing even more specific actions in-game. It was diabolically, even needlessly complex, and there was some concern among the TF team that this time we might have gone a little overboard. It would take the community weeks to sort through this, we worried.
We shouldn’t have. In just twelve hours, the master-class code breakers in the community put their collective brainpower to the puzzle and cracked it wide open, uncovering a mysterious link at 2:46AM PDT this morning that promised a small taste of things to come in TF2. We couldn’t be more proud of you guys. Also, if we’re being honest, a little giddy at the possibilities, because if you can apply yourselves this commandingly to a goofy online puzzle for a war-themed hat simulator, next time we’ll think big and ask you to construct a manned space shuttle to Mars or something.
Now I guess we just sit and wait for another 3 GB game update on Steam.